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Teaching Your Pet to Use Pet Stairs
Pet stairs can be a great help for dogs and cats with limited mobility due to age, joint pain, obesity, or after recovering from surgery. However, even the best pet stairs will be of no use if your dog or cat can’t or won’t use them. Some dogs and cats will instinctively know how to use their new pet stairs, especially if you have a staircase in the home so your pet is already familiar with steps. It can take a bit of training for others, especially if this is your pet’s first exposure to steps of any kind.
An especially tempting treat is all it takes for many pets to lure them onto the pet stairs; if your dog is more play-motivated, you can substitute a favorite toy for the treat. First, simply place the treat on the ground beside the pet stairs and let him eat it there so he becomes comfortable being near the pet stairs. Then, show your dog another treat, and place it on the first step – at this point he will be on the ground and eating the treat from that first step. Continue luring your pet up the steps by placing the treats progressively higher onto the pet stairs until your pet reaches the top. Be sure to offer lots of praise as your dog takes each step higher. Repeat this process a couple of times before you attempt to teach your pet to go down the pet stairs, which can be more intimidating to some pets.
Once your pet is comfortable going up the pet stairs, repeat the same process to lure your pet down the steps. It is easier if you begin by placing your pet on the lowest step and luring him to the ground, then repeating the process of descending from successively higher steps rather than immediately expecting him to descend from the very top of the pet stairs. Be sure to watch your pet closely to make sure he doesn’t just leap from the steps.
Repeat the process several times going up and down until your pet is comfortable using the pet stairs. It usually only takes a few successful trips up and down the pet stairs for your pet to become comfortable using pet stairs. Be patient and go slowly until your pet gains confidence.
- Types of Pet Stairs
- How Your Pet Can Benefit From Pet Stairs
- Teaching your pet a new name
- Consider adopting an older dog